How's the current software and remote functionality?

Hello. I’ve been considering the SA30 as my next amplifier but the user experiences I’ve read online aren’t exactly stellar.

So those who have this amplifier, what do you think of the current state of the software and its ease of use? I’m particularly interested of the remote as I’ve read people complaining how it doesn’t even register continuous button press, requiring slow multiple presses to reach desired volume. Is this still the case or has this been addressed in later firmware version?

I am in a very similar situation, also longing for SA30 excellent sound (heard in studio), but its slow responsiveness and poor functionality distracts me from final purchase decision. How does the SA30 operates with the latest firmware? Is it at least slightly comparable with BluOS?
And has somebody positive experience with streaming music from local NAS (Synology)? I definitely want to be able to move within the track → fast forward & fast rewind, not only previous&next.

v1473 beta

Hi there,

@cgull The remote issue described is not relevant as it is quite fast and responsive and reacts to a continuous press. I’m pretty sure it was like that on the latest official FW as well. In general I can’t really say I’ve experienced the device to be unresponsive in any way(more examples to check maybe).

@Koso2009 I’m checking from local PC streaming and track navigation(FW/REW) is not possible.

There are 2 aspects of this question, the software of the device itself and the MusicLife app which is the official pairing app. I’ve complained numerous times about the app in various posts in this forum and have purchased a Node to not care about it anymore. It does work but is not as convenient as BluOS(if you’ve never used BluOS, you might be just fine).

The biggest problem for me was that there is no Windows app and the only way to control it like that is from the WebClient which doesn’t present shared queue with the app and causes confusion but generally it works.

Tidal Connect is working perfect with this latest beta which is something many ppl wanted of course.

Just ask specific questions and I’ll check them for you :slight_smile:

SA30 supports UPnP and this is used in most cases for streaming from NAS. All depends now on which app will you use for streaming, but in most cases even if FF will not work from remote, you can always use app time slider to move within the track.
As for app, for streaming from NAS you can use DS Music for example and it should work just fine.
If you need to stream from Tidal etc., you need either newer SA30 firmware (not yet released) with Tidal and Spotify Connect, so that you can use native app, or you need MusicLife, or some 3rd app like mConnect or BubbleUPnP.

I stream all my music as FLAC files from my Synology NAS using UPNP. I use Minimserver as the music server installed on the NAS and the Arcam MusicLife app as the controller. It works a dream.

Many thanks to all for their previous replies!

@paulguk: That’s exactly what I need → to stream all my music as FLAC files from my Synology NAS. And is in your arrangement (Minimserver on NAS + Arcam MusicLife on SA30) the track navigation(FW/REW) possible and responsive enough?
a/ through the remote controler (my dream but I hardly believe in it:-)
b/ at least through app time slider/progress bar by your finger?

You can stream from you local storage using the MusicLife app and you can FW/REW w/o any problems form there

It works reasonably well. I’m an old school music listener though and tend to play albums in their entirety.

I use MP3 Tag for tagging all my FLAC files.

I understand you listen to the albums in a whole mainly, but, please, could you try it and check whether navigation within track (Forward/Reverse) played from NAS operates also by using the Arcam’s remote?
Thanks in advance :-).

I tried the Fast Forward and Reverse buttons of the remote while playing a song from my Synology Nas and they don’t work. Going to the next or previous song using the remote buttons does work however.

If you want to fast forward, the slider in the MusicLife app works very well.

In general playing music from my Nas works a dream on the Sa30.

Thanks for your test a_mu_zed.
For me a dream would be not to have to open my mobile everytime I will want to listen to a favourite passages within songs. Especially during evening relaxing listening to music in the dimmed room I am searching for so called “blind operation”, which on my old Denon works wery well thrugh the tactile buttons on its remote. That’s what I call nirvana – I simply want to put away my mobile after the whole day and am sure I am not the only one.

Unfortunately I can’t find any contemporary hi-end amp. with the remote capable to move forward/backward (<</>>) within the currently played track while streaming FLAC music from NAS (Synology). Crazy&sad in 2022, don’t you think… (All cheap old mp3 players did it – you just kept pressed the FF/FR buttons for longer.)

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On the contrary. It’s 2022, times of mobile tech, apps etc. Some manufacturers do not even provide remote for their devices, assuming all operations is done using mobile app.
However i do understand what you mean. I also prefer remote over mobile for SOME operations, don’t like to unlock my phone each time i want to do something. But i must admit browsing the library and choosing the music/album/track is waaaay better using mobile than using remote. Though once it’s playing, i prefer remote for basic operations.

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Thank you for the replies. For me the streaming services aren’t all that important and just nice bonus to have. I was mostly interested in the SA30 for its room correction because it’s such a rare thing to have in an integrated amplifier. I personally dislike most “smart” devices such as modern AVRs due to many basic features being behind slow and unresponsive menus or phone apps. That’s why the remote being fast and responsive is important for me because I most likely don’t intend to delve into the smart features of the device after the initial Dirac setup.

I did come up two additional questions that I didn’t think of when writing the OP:

  1. Does the SA30 come with the full range version of Dirac? I assumed it does but asking to be sure.
  2. Is the SA30 capable of casting video content too via the HDMI or is it purely to receive audio from the TV?

Yes, it’s full version.

No, it’s ARC only, to receive audio from TV. To be honest i don’t think there’s any amp that supports casting video, not even AVR’s.